Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Microsemi and Aquantia introduce multi-rate Ethernet switch reference platform

Semiconductor solutions provider Microsemi and Aquantia, a supplier of high-speed Ethernet connectivity solutions for data centres, enterprise infrastructure and client connectivity, introduced a production-ready multi-rate switch reference platform optimised to support 24 x 2.5 Gbit/s and up to an additional four 2.5/5/10 Gbit/s BASE-T ports.

The solution, which is available immediately, combines Microsemi's SparX-IV Layer 2/3 enterprise switch, VSC7448, Linux SMBStaX software, clock management, PD69208M Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) power sourcing equipment (PSE) manager, and Aquantia's second generation multi-rate IEEE 802.3bz PHY, the AQR409.

Designed for applications including 1, 2.5 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching and aggregation, the joint reference design from Microsemi and Aquantia is suitable for enterprise infrastructure applications such as switches, access routers and WLAN access point (AP) switches.

Microsemi's VSC7448 SparX-IV-80 device is an 80 Gbit/s SMB/SME industrial Ethernet switch offering up to 52 ports supporting 1, 2.5 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Utilising multi-stage versatile content aware processing (VCAP), the solution delivers VLAN and QoS processing to enable the delivery of differentiated services, security via intelligent frame processing and egress frame manipulation. For industrial applications, VSC7448 integrates VeriTime timing technology.

The device also features a 500 MHz CPU that enables management of a Layer 2/3 Ethernet switch solution, and an API and software development package to aid development for managed Ethernet applications.

In addition, the PD69208M PoE PSE manager is designed to support IEEE 802.3bt for data rates up to 10 Gbit/s, while Microsemi clock management portfolio provides low jitter devices for clock synthesis, frequency conversion, jitter attenuation and fan out buffers.

Aquantia's AQrate AQR409 is an advanced low power, three-speed, quad-port PHY housed in a 19 x 19 mm flip-chip BGA package. AQrate technology is designed to bridge the bandwidth gap between legacy cabling infrastructure designed for 1 Gbit/s data rates and new 802.11ac WLAN technology offering higher bandwidth. The AQR409 can support 2.5/1 Gbit/s and 100 Mbit/s line rate over 100 metres of Cat 5e or Cat 6 cabling.

AQrate PHYs are compatible with the NBASE-T Alliance PHY specification and IEEE 802.3bz standard and perform physical layer functions required for transmission over 100 metres of twisted pair cabling. They also offer support for the IEEE 802.1AE MAC-layer security (MACsec) protocol and IEEE 1588 v2 PTP to synchronise real-time clocks to sub-microsecond accuracy,

Microsemi noted that the collaboration with Aquantia is part of its Accelerate Ecosystem, designed to speed time to market for end customers and development time for ecosystem participants.